Who doesn’t want radiant, healthy-looking skin?
The secret could be simpler than you think – vitamin C. This skincare superstar is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralise free radicals, fighting the impacts of sun exposure and environmental pollution that your skin faces every day. External aggressors like these contribute to premature signs of skin ageing.
Vitamin C also suppresses the activity of an enzyme that's important in the production of melanin, the skin pigment. Topical application can help reduce hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and improve uneven skin tone for brighter and more radiant-looking skin.
And it also boosts production of collagen, an important structural protein in the skin, to help keep it looking plump and smooth out the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Of course, learning how to use vitamin C serum correctly is the key to unlocking its full potential...
THE ESSENTIALS OF TOPICAL VITAMIN C SERUM APPLICATION
It's all in the application, and as with all things, it comes down to the 5 Ps: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. And layering. Don't forget layering.
PREPARING YOUR SKIN
Cleansing and toning is an important part of preparing your skin before applying vitamin C serum. Think of it like preparing a wall for painting; you wouldn’t put paint straight onto a dirty, peeling surface without some preparation, would you? (Or maybe you would! We won't judge.)
1.First, cleanse your face to remove dirt, makeup, and dead skin cells. Effaclar Foaming Gel Cleanser for oily, acne-prone skin,Toleriane Foaming Gel Cleanser for normal, combination & sensitive skin, or Micellar Water Cleanser & Makeup Remover For Sensitive Skin are gentle cleanser options to consider here.
APPLYING THE VITAMIN C SERUM
Now apply a vitamin C serum, such as Vitamin C10 Brightening Serum for sensitive skin. This anti-ageing serum is formulated with pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), salicylic acid, and Neurosensine to tackle loss of radiance and other visible signs of ageing, for brighter skin that feels softer, more hydrated, and glowing.
The aim is to dot just a couple of drops across your face then gently massage into the skin, allowing a few minutes for the serum to fully absorb before moisturising or layering with other products.
COMBINING VITAMIN C SERUM WITH OTHER KEY INGREDIENTS
One of the beauties of vitamin C serum is that it plays nicely with others. Combining with other active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, retinol, and niacinamide can help tackle diverse skin concerns and enhance your skincare regime.
VITAMIN C AND HYALURONIC ACID
A powerful humectant, hyaluronic acid is used to hold and retain moisture within the skin to keep it hydrated and plump-looking. Used together, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid provide a more comprehensive approach to skin rejuvenation, helping to smooth skin texture, reduce dark spots for a more even skin tone, reduce visible redness, and boost hydration.
For best results, it’s important to layer vitamin C first so it fully absorbs, followed by the hyaluronic acid.
VITAMIN C AND RETINOL
Retinol helps prevent visible signs of skin ageing, improves uneven tone & texture, and reduces blemishes and the appearance of post-blemish marks in mild acne-prone skin. It also encourages the shedding of old skin cells and boosts skin cell turnover. When used together, retinol and vitamin C provide powerful anti-ageing and skin brightening effects.
It's important to be mindful of timing when combining a retinol product with vitamin C. La Roche-Posay recommends applying vitamin C as part of your morning skincare routine, and using retinol in the evening. Alternatively, switch between vitamin C and retinol on separate nights.
This ensures both ingredients can work effectively without interfering with each other.
Always follow up with a high SPF broad spectrum sunscreen in the morning as retinol increases photosensitivity.
VITAMIN C AND NIACINAMIDE
Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is an immensely versatile skincare ingredient with numerous benefits:
● It helps build essential skin lipids such as ceramides to strengthen the skin's moisture barrier and reduce dehydration.
● It helps regulate excess oil production.
● It helps visibly reduce areas of redness and blotchiness.
On top of that, it shares some benefits with vitamin C - antioxidant properties, boosts collagen production, and reduces dark spots and other hyperpigmentation concerns.
CUSTOMISING YOUR VITAMIN C SERUM ROUTINE
Your skincare routine should reflect the unique concerns and needs of your skin type. Customising your vitamin C regimen to address these can be achieved by selecting products with an appropriate concentration of vitamin C and adjusting the frequency of use.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CONCENTRATION
Topical vitamin C products can range in concentration anywhere from 5% up to 30%, depending on the derivative of vitamin C used and product formulation. When pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is used in a serum format, La Roche-Posay recommends a concentration of 10% to 20%.
However, the appropriate concentration of vitamin C is the one that's right for your skin. A serum that’s too strong for sensitive skin might cause irritation, whilst one that’s too weak might not give you the results you want.
Our recommendation when starting out with vitamin C is always to begin at a lower concentration and gradually increase if required and as your skin becomes accustomed.
ADJUSTING FREQUENCY OF USE
You should also avoid over application of your vitamin C serum. Start by applying every second day, and as your skin becomes more tolerant, progress to using it daily. Some users may choose to use a vitamin C product both morning and evening, although this doesn't suit everyone.
Remember, it’s the consistency of use, not the frequency, that yields results.
ADDRESSING SOME COMMON CONCERNS AROUND VITAMIN C SERUMS
In case you're wondering about potential side effects, irritation, or even how to store your serum properly, let's tackle these:
SIDE EFFECTS AND IRRITATION
Vitamin C serums are generally safe for most skin types, including sensitive skin. However, there are circumstances when they may cause irritation or side effects.
La Roche-Posay recommends beginning with a lower concentration when starting out and gradually increasing if required and as your skin becomes accustomed. Also consider applying every second day to begin with, and progress to daily use once your skin tolerance is established.
We also suggest conducting a patch test before integrating vitamin C into your routine.
STORAGE AND USAGE LIFE
Vitamin C serums, especially ones containing L-ascorbic acid, require careful storage to sustain their potency and maximise usage life. L-ascorbic acid is quite reactive chemically, so it readily breaks down and loses effectiveness when exposed to air, heat or sunlight. You'll often find it formulated with ingredients such as ferulic acid to improve stability.
For maximum usage life after opening, keep your vitamin C products in their original container, in a cool, dark area away from sunlight.
ACHIEVING RESULTS WITH VITAMIN C SERUM
Vitamin C serum can be transformational for your skin, but it’s important to be realistic about your expectations for seeing visible improvements.
Patience is key when it comes to seeing results, and so is consistency. Regular use of vitamin C serum should enable you to see visible improvement in 4-8 weeks.
In conclusion, vitamin C serum is a powerful addition to any skincare routine. From preparing your skin and applying the serum to layering with other skincare products, customising your routine, and combining it with other key ingredients, you can unlock the full potential of this skincare superstar. With patience, consistency, and proper care, you can achieve radiant, healthy skin that glows from within.
Frequently asked Questions
How do I use vitamin C serum on my face?
Do you put vitamin C serum on before or after moisturiser?
When should I apply vitamin C serum for best results?
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